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Featured Article: May is dedicated to Mary as the season of the beginning of new life - According to Catholic Culture.org, “The month of May is the month which the piety of the faithful has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady.” The dedication of the month of May to the Blessed Virgin began at the end of the 13th century as a way for the Church to Christianize secular feasts. By 1700, the members of the Jesuit Order and the Gesu Church in Rome publicly practiced the May observance (https://www.catholicculture.org). Current celebrations include a daily recitation of the rosary and the crowing of Our Lady’s statue. Read Full Story

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 May is dedicated to Mary as the season of the beginning of new life
 Confirmation: Strengthened by the Spirit, Called to Action
 Prayer For Healing Your Family And You
 Pentecost Sunday - May 15, 2016
 What the CARA Report Tells Us About Our Newest Priests
 Getting to the Heart: Gratitude, servitude and attitude
 NET Ministries Puts Youth in the Church
 No Diets! How Parents Can Help Kids Learn Healthy Eating Habits
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 WORLD YOUTH DAY, Krakow-2016
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May 7, 2016
 Domestic Violence Workshop
May 7, 2016
 14th Annual Asian and Pacific Island Catholics Marian Pilgrimage
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 Interregional African American Catholic Evangelization Conference (IAACEC)
June 9, 2016
 WOMEN'S RETREAT: Finding Afresh the God of Our Longing
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 “You Show Me the Path to Life”
June 26, 2016
 Xavier University of Louisiana Institute for Black Catholic Studies
June 27, 2016
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 National Day of Prayer - Thursday, May 5th, 2016
 Makeup of mission dioceses reflects U.S. church’s changing demographics
 Chosen: Helping teens fall in love with the truth, beauty and joy of Christ and his Church.
 Parishes Shine in the Year of Mercy
 Will Birmingham Give Birth to National Racial Reconciliation?
 A Summary of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love)
 Pittsburgh’s 2016 Juneteenth Festival & Bicentennial Event
 Why there’s hope for Catholic liturgical music
 Father Stephen Thorne to receive Gesu School award - Catholic Philly
 Request for Religious and Laity Help
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Lent to Easter: Preparation for Celebration

It hardly seems that Christmas is over and already we are in the midst of Lent. Such is sometimes the case with the moveable feasts of the Liturgical year. As the calendar falls, we have a very early Lent this year. Only five weeks into Ordinary Time and Ash Wednesday was beckoning us to the annual spiritual journey of repentance, conversion, and rededication to the mysteries to which we were first introduced when we were baptized. "Remember, Man, that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return!" "Repent and believe in the Gospel!" Both of these acclamations broke into our post-Christmas lull and once again reminded us that the Christian Life calls us to be ever-poised to be in the service of the Lord, to be on the "Battlefield" for Our Lord. Our Marching Orders don't come on our time schedule but on the Lord's. The great question that remains to be answered is whether or not we are ready to respond.

One of the great benefits of the Liturgical Calendar is that it structures the faith life and prayer life of the Church in such manner that the Sacred Mysteries of salvation are regularly placed before our hearts and minds for contemplation, prayer, and active response. It goes without saying that this quality of the Liturgical life of the Church will only have an impact on the lives of those who actively integrate it into their own spiritual lives. In other words, if one is to live a fully Catholic spiritual life, keeping in mind that the spiritual life itself must be integrated into every other aspect of one's earthly sojourn, then one must live a truly Liturgical life. Hence the seasons celebrated by the Church must also be celebrated by the believer, individually, in the home, in school or the workplace, wherever the Christian finds him or herself.

That is why, even though it seems that Christmas was just yesterday, we Catholics must now be fully in tune with the spirit, the themes, the signs and symbols, and the meaning of Lent, as Lent leads us through the purgative experience so necessary for a truly meaningful and rightly joyful celebration of the Easter mystery. Our Christian calling and our Catholic faith require us to be in a state of extended meditation on the mystery of Jesus' Passion and Death, as that mystery is unfolded during Lent. This becomes ever more clear as the Lenten Season culminates with Holy Week and the uniquely beautiful and instructive celebrations of the Easter Triduum. The Catholic who opts out of these celebrations is like the student who skips class. When exam time comes, he just won't be prepared!

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